The other day, when involved in a lengthy text-based chat session with a coworker, I realized (for the first time perhaps) that we need a smarter chat client. I spent a great deal of time and energy attempting to explain a relatively simple concept to my coworker, when it occurred to me that he couldn't understand the language exchange nor could he decipher the message I attempted to convey. Finally, I relieved our collective pain with the five words that were so difficult to extract from my fingers but were so willingly grasped by his mind: I'll take care of it.
I'm sure that he left the conversation with the same opinion of me that I had of him: Obstinate Fool.
The primary problem between us was language.
We both knew what we meant but we just couldn't convince each other of the accuracy of our respective comments. We weren't arguing, we were discussing a problem, but neither of us made the correct cognitive connections needed to comprehend what the other was saying.
The solution is a non-existent product called Babelian: The Universal Chat Client.
Here's how it works:
On my end, I type in English (A poor subset of American English) and he types in his nationally mandated language.
We each type in our native language and receive messages in our native language as well.
Explicitly, I type in English and receive his messages in English. He types in Russian and sees my messages displayed to him in Russian.
Sure there are cultural differences, idioms and turns of phrases wouldn't translate so well but having this universal translator would help alleviate a lot of frustration for us both.
Is such a program possible? This could expand to email and other applications as well.
It would seem so and surely I'm not the first to ponder such a thing but so far, I haven't located such a tool.
Do you have the ability to create such an application? I think it would work along the same lines as the Babelfish Translator. Are you up for the challenge? I hope someone is.